World famous for its amazing wineries and beautiful countryside, Tuscany is home to more than 3 million residents and calls Florence its regional capital. Rich in history and some of the most heralded grape growing regions in the country, the area is a popular destination for those interested in Tuscany wine tours.
Taste the Delights That Tuscany Wine Tours Offer
Whether you are interested in private or group travel packages, Tuscany wine tours promise an adventure for everyone. Tuscany is located in central Italy near the Tyrrhenian Sea and is the third largest wine region in the country. Regions that you may be interested in during Tuscany wine tours are Carignano, Elba Island, Parrina, and many others.
The Highest Quality Wines, Guaranteed
Italy, like many other countries, has strict quality control measures in place for grape growing and wine production. There are three quality assurance labels you may see on wine bottles during Tuscany wine tours: DO (designation of origin, which is rarely used), DOC (controlled destination of origin, the most common wine label in Tuscany), and DOCG (controlled designation of origin guaranteed, the strictest quality control measure).
Tuscany’s signature wines, the Chianti and Chianti Classico, are also the best known Italian wines in the world, and are but two of a half dozen DOCG wines that feature most prominently on any number of Tuscany wine tours. The wines are only as good as the grapes from which they are made, and from the earliest days of Etruscan settlers to the region in the 8th century, Tuscany’s bountiful grape production has been source of envy for vineyards around the world.
If you embark on one of many available Tuscany wine tours, you will sample wines made from grapes such as the Sangiovese,Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and countless others. The wine selection is as varied as the grapes themselves and includes DOCG wines Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, and Suvereto. DOC wines are more plentiful and account for a total of more than 30, including Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario, Cortona, and Pomino, just to name a few.
Tips for a Successful Wine Tour
With hundreds of wineries across the country in nearly 50 growing regions, there are amazing opportunities to embark on different Tuscany wine tours and never have the same experience twice. Whether you are considering a wine tasting tour in Italy, France, or California, there are a number of tips to be aware of to make your wine tour delightful from one sip to the next.
- Choose your Tuscany wine tours company carefully. As with anything else, not all wine tour companies are created equal. If you know of a specific Tuscan winery you are interested in visiting, make contact and ask for a tour company recommendation. Call other wineries. Ask family members, friends, or co-workers for their opinion.
- Pick a tour that fits your budget and time constraints. A trip to Italy is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many tourists because of the time, planning, and expense involved. Remember, you know your financial situation better than anyone, not to mention your specific travel itinerary.
- Be flexible in regards to when you want to travel. The Tuscany region is hugely popular, so ask your tour operator about preferred travel times for the best Italy vacation packages.
- Ask about out of the way wineries. Tuscany tours are available for literally hundreds of wineries, and some locations are larger and more popular than others. But that does not mean that bigger is better, especially if you do not like large crowds or prefer a more casual tour experience.
- Be polite and respectful at all times. Besides avoiding the usual cultural faux pas, keep in mind that wine making is a way of life that has existed for thousands of years in Italy, and many wineries have been owned and operated by the same families for several generations.
- Drink responsibly. Just because you visit 10 wineries in one day does not mean you are obligated to drink a full glass of wine at each stop on the tour. In fact, professional wine tasters often take a small sip, let it sit on their tongue, then spit it into special containers.
- Think about accommodations and transportation needs. If you are visiting multiple wineries over the course of a few days, ask your tour operator about scheduling a hotel stay and making to- and from- arrangements on your behalf.
- Limit the number of wineries you want to visit. Again, do not visit more wineries than you are comfortable with.
- Remember to break for meals. A wine tour, while exhilarating, can also be exhausting and hunger inducing, so make sure to stop for a hearty meal.
- Take photographs and document your Tuscany wine tours adventure. Many wineries only allow photography in designated areas, so be aware of the rules. To ensure your memories live on forever, create photo or scrap books, share your photos online, and blog about the experience. Share your adventure and knowledge.
How to Bring Wine Back Home
When returning home from Tuscany wine tours, many travelers wish to bring wine home with them. Air and cruise lines all have different regulations to follow; the same goes for airports and other ports of entry. The best way to get specific information is to contact your tour provider or air or cruise line. That being said, here are a few general ideas to keep in mind if you want to bring or ship wine home.
Large bottles of liquids are prohibited from planes, but you may be able to pack your wine in carry-on baggage. Wrap the bottle in newspaper, then two large plastic, zip style bags. Pack the bottles strategically, perhaps stuffed between fluffy clothing. Some airlines sell wine carriers, so ask before boarding your flight. Another option: Ask the tour company or winery if they offer ship-to-home options, and whether you can get a better rate to ship multiple bottles.